The Wrap sat down with Mary Elizabeth Winstead to discuss her new show, Fargo and why her character doesn’t have the typical “Fargo” accent (she’s actually from Chicago) and if her character really loves Ray (played by Ewan McGregor).
In another part of the interview, she talks about one of the worst auditions she’s ever had.
Yesterday Mary and her Fargo co-stars Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon and Olivia Sandoval attended FX’s Emmys For Your Consideration event in North Hollywood. I’ve added over 260 photos, so please enjoy all the pics I’ve added to the gallery!
At the event, show creator Noah Hawley said this about Mary’s character Nikki Swango:
“Nikki Swango (Winstead) is the ultimate ‘Fargo’ badass. You don’t know what to expect with her. She’s a bridge mastermind and a strategist. She’s really fun.”
According to Variety, Winstead was thrilled to join the drama and said about Nikki Swango, “I’d never played a character like this. Once I was on set and doing it, it was so easy but it took all the elements coming together for me to feel confident and comfortable.”
Mary is doing lots of press for Fargo now that the third season has wrapped. Yesterday, Mary did a Q&A for The Los Angeles Times which you can watch here and KPCC’s “The Frame” radio show which you can check out here. I’ve also updated the gallery with a few photos she’s taken during the press tour.
Tonight, they’ll also be an Emmy’s FYC event for the FX show so check back soon for tons of new pics! 🙂
THE FRAME Interview highlights:
On why she initially shied away from TV series earlier in her career:
For me, it was really the idea of committing to something for years and years — that you could potentially not love — was very, very scary to me, and I didn’t understand why [laughs]. I was sort of like, I don’t understand why anybody would do that! What if you get into it and then a year later you decide you don’t like it anymore?
But the past few years, as the majority of the good material that I’ve seen has been on television, it’s become really exciting.
How she’d describe Nikki to people who haven’t seen the show:
She’s a competitive bridge player, which I think says a lot about her. [laughs] I mean, ex-con, competitive bridge player speaks volumes. She’s a strategic thinker in every way of her life, she’s always one step of everybody around her. She’s incredibly smart, but she’s also incredibly loving and passionate, and she’s very much in love with her partner, Emmit Stussy, played by Ewan McGregor. She has all these dreams and hopes for their life together, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make those dreams come true.
On her possible entry into musical theater:
There’s been a couple of Broadway shows that I’ve gone down the road with, and then scheduling’s sort of made things fall apart. But I would love to do that eventually. I think that would be the next scary thing for me to tackle. It would be really nerve-wracking, but I’d love to try it.
Time.com interviewed Mary about playing the role of Nikki Swango on this season of FX’s Fargo. Click the link to read the full Q&A:
Did Noah Hawley have a particular vision for Nikki?
The main question that I had for him in order to really know her was whether or not her love for Ray was real. He immediately, without having to think about it at all, said, “Yes. It’s completely genuine. They’re completely in love and it’s a true, real relationship.”
Then it all kind of clicked in for me because that was the only thing that, to me, could have turned the performance one direction or another. So once I knew that their love was real, then I was able to really move forward with this sort of sweet, bubbly, optimistic version of a femme fatale.
Did you actually learn or know how to play bridge?
I had no idea how to play bridge, and I still have no idea how to play bridge. I took a couple lessons and Ewan and I went and watched a bridge tournament together right before we started shooting here in Calgary, which was very eye-opening. I mean, I will never understand this game. But when we went and watched people play, then we could go okay, yeah, that’s right, we’re actors. We can pretend we know what we’re doing.
A lot of people have theorized that the two female characters, Nikki and Gloria, represent that kind of light side and dark side in this season. Do you think that that’s an accurate portrayal of those two characters?
I think it is. I think in some ways throughout the season they’re sort of on these parallel trajectories. We don’t get that much stuff together, but the characters are connected in some way as the season goes on. I think it’s interesting because they do sort of represent the light and the dark, but it’s interchangeable.
In some ways, Gloria’s the light because she’s the moral center. She’s the one who’s not doing bad things like everybody else on the show is. But in other ways, Nikki’s the light because she’s quite a bit more optimistic and gutsy and full of spirit, whereas Gloria is going through a dark period of her life. She’s a bit more cynical and her worldview maybe isn’t as bright as Nikki’s. So I think it’s really interesting that they both kind of represent the light and the dark for different reasons.
A preview for Wednesday’s latest episode of Fargo has been released which you can watch below. Additionally, stills for ep 4 have also been released, but they’re the same ones that have been out from the first look pictures that I uploaded back in March.
The synopsis is as follows:
Emmit and Sy try to figure out what they’ve gotten themselves into, Nikki and Ray track down some collateral, and Gloria learns more about Maurice.
The Emmys, in conjunction with FXP will be hosting a special screening and discussion with the cast of FX’s Fargo. The event, scheduled to take place on May 11 at 7pm, will feature the cast of Fargo including:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Noah Hawley, executive producer
John Cameron, executive producer
Warren Littlefield, executive producer
Only Television Academy National Active Members with valid membership cards will be admitted. Seating is subject to availability; first come, first served. Admittance is not guaranteed. Registering must be done by May 5.
The 2017 Emmys ceremony will happen on September 17, 2017.